Yes, it is about race: Why you should stop saying “All Lives Matter”

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Protesters are seen demanding justice for George Floyd in Portland, Maine days after his death.

Brianna Wagoner, Opinion Writer

Discrimination has been around since the beginning of time. Ranging from religion to skin color, or gender. As of 2020 there has been a mountain of dialogue surrounding Black Lives Matter, which is a movement that condemns police brutality and racially motivated crimes against the black community. The All Lives Matter movement is a retaliation against the Black Live Matter movement. As someone who supports the Black Lives Matter movement, I have some contradictory statements towards All Lives Matter arguments.

“Blue Lives Matter”
“Blue lives” don’t exist. Police willingly choose their profession. When they are stripped of what makes them an officer, they no longer hold their position of authority. Black people are born black; there’s no way they can change that. Therefore, the Blue Lives Matter argument is invalid.

“More white people are killed than black people.”
First of all, there are more white people than black people in the U.S. As of 2019, whites make up 76.3% of the U.S. population while blacks make up 13.4%. However, black people are two and a half times more likely to be killed by police. The black community is being killed by police at a disproportionate rate to racial demographics in the United States.

“Not only black people matter”
Black Lives Matter does not literally mean that only black lives matter. It means that, during this time, blacks are specifically targeted, murdered, and face prejudice from the police, and it needs to change. This can be proven simply by looking at U.S. statistics. People who support the All Lives Matter movement are not only ignorant towards the discrimination the black community faces but also ignore the privledge that the white community has.

“Black on black crime is more common”
It is true that the rate of black on black crime is higher than the rate of blacks being killed by police. Though, black on black crime is rooted in socioeconomic status, not race. Black on black crime should never be used to deflect from police brutality. The argument is irrelevant to racial discrimination.

“Breonna Taylor was just caught in the crossfire, it was not the police’s fault.”
Police officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove were not obligated to enter Taylor’s home in the first place. The warrant they had was for someone who had already been detained and lived nowhere near Taylor and her boyfriend. She was innocent, and those officers committed murder. The big picture is that it is incomprehensible that there are people out there who can legally murder you without consequence.

“George Floyd had a criminal record and resisted arrest.”
It is true that Mr. Floyd had transgressed prior to his arrest, had been told previous times to show his hands, and vigorously resisted being handcuffed. However, that doesn’t justify Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with second degree muder, forcefully placing his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes and dismissing his gasps for air along with him pleading for his mother and begging him to stop. Even when his nose started to bleed, it took officers six minutes and innocent bystanders to realize that Mr. Floyd was unresponsive and could possibly be deceased.

“The creators of the Black Lives Matter movement have said themselves that their movement has been turned into something that they do not agree with.”
This is not entirely true and has been taken out of context. Yes it is true that founders Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors have said that in recent events surrounding Black Lives Matter it is not only about the victims. They have stated that while people are uplifting names like Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, they are also in the streets for themselves and their family members because they do not know who is next.

“What about the rioting, looting, and overall violence”
Yes, the riots have an excessive negative connotation. These riots and protests consist of a small group of extremists, who are tired of the prejudice and image society has forced upon black people. According to Trevor Noah from The Daily Show, “Rioting and looting is not a Black Lives Matter phenomenon. That happens when there is a protest a lot of the time.” He adds, “Black Lives Matter has never said go and shoot people… That is not the platform.” People who use their voice in these riots and protest to communicate violence onto others do not represent the movement. Black Lives Matter is about justice, not revenge. A few people should not mean condemning the entire movement.

“What about ACAB? Not all cops are bad/racist”
The slogan is nothing new. It originates from workers on strike in the 1940s. However modernly, it is about racial discrimination rather than income. ACAB stands for “All Cops Are Bad”. The thing that the public commonly misinterprets about the slogan is that it does not literally mean all cops are bad. It’s a statement that communicates how police are all part of a corrupt system.
There is so much dialogue and conflict surrounding these movements. It is disgusting how something so morally straightforward can have such popular, argumentative dialogue. You cannot construe the constant racism that takes place everyday.